Since I wanted to further develop myself professionally in the field of marketing and at the same time gain experience abroad, I applied for a postgraduate course at the UCI. The prerequisite for the International Certificate Program is a university degree in addition to proof of English language skills (e. g. a minimum number of points in the TOEFL test). Note: University of California Irvine is also known as UCI on abbreviationfinder.
The range of courses and further education for international students at the UCI is broad. In the orientation event at the beginning of each semester, important processes are discussed and questions clarified. All students of the International Certificate Program are invited to the event, which enables them to get to know each other and to establish contacts at the same time.
The university itself – as well as the campus – are very well maintained and relatively green. The size and equipment of the seminar rooms are appropriate. The range of teaching materials in the libraries is extensive, and there are also book and stationery stores on and near the campus. There is a large selection of food and fast food in the UCI’s food court and if that is not enough, you will find it in the immediate vicinity of the university.
The UCI offers weekly activities for international students, ranging from volleyball, attending an NBA game, to a trip to San Francisco. Those who came to California alone can quickly make friends here.
Students from all over the world take part in the International Certificate Programs. The marketing course had a great deal of practical relevance through specific references to American companies and economic framework conditions. In terms of content, all the key areas were covered, from brand management to B2B marketing. Almost every course included a group project, so that you worked with a large number of fellow students from many countries during the course of your studies. Through this cooperation and joint ventures outside of the university, I got an insight into the mentality and working world of different cultures. The the respective courses are usually composed of one or more exams, presentations and the group project. The lecturers at the university attach great importance to preparing and giving presentations so that you can speak confidently at the end of your studies.
By the way: Before you buy books, wait until the first lesson of your courses, the lecturers will tell you whether and which teaching materials are necessary. In my case, we received the content as a presentation.
Optionally, following the International Certificate Program, you had the opportunity to qualify for an internship in a company in the USA. I took advantage of this opportunity and successfully applied. In this process you are largely on your own. I can recommend this step if you are interested in gaining work experience in the USA. Unfortunately, the UCI job exchange (“ZotLink”) is only accessible to permanently enrolled UCI students, which is one of the reasons why I recommend that you make contact with American students.
Housing in Irvine and Orange Counties isn’t exactly cheap. About accommodation through the UCI: Usually four international students share an apartment with two bathrooms and two bedrooms. The UCI apartments are furnished and equipped with kitchen utensils, towels and bed linen. WiFi included, also free of charge you can use the pool area and the fitness studio. Some apartments are located on campus, while the others are connected to the university by buses. The cost of a three-month card is around $ 80. 00. Even without a semester ticket, you can use the bus service for $ 2. 00 per trip. If you plan to drive to the university with a car, you have to expect parking costs of around $ 260. 00 per quarter.
Irvine has been considered the safest city in the USA for years and you actually feel very sheltered in the region in and around Irvine. There are plenty of options for eating out and shopping, especially in the large malls “Irvine Spectrum” and “Fashion Island”. Among the numerous burger chains, “In-N-Out” is a tasty and still reasonably healthy option. You will find a large selection of dishes of all kinds in the Cheesecake Factory. There are also plenty of options for leisure activities such as bowling, go-karting or the cinema. The possibilities for going out are limited in Irvine, the nearby Newport Beach (approx. 20 km) offers even more. Whether house parties, bars or discos: life is raging in Newport Beach. In the Balboa Island district you can buy original gifts, take walks and eat a frozen banana (definitely try it!). A wonderful place for campfires and BBQs on the beach is Corona del Mar, also a district of Newport Beach. You should also visit the surfers paradise Huntington Beach. Los Angeles is about 65 km away from Irvine. For a trip to San Diego you have to plan about two and a half hours, to Las Vegas you drive about four hours.
Compared to Germany, you have to plan significantly more money for housing, food and leisure activities in California. There are, thanks to the year-round good weather plenty of free or low-cost alternatives, for example a day on the public beaches, which you can also explore wonderfully by bike.
The studies at the UCI and my stay in California was a great experience that have helped me both professionally and personally and embossed. I met great people and was able to make many international contacts. After completing my studies, I traveled around the USA by car for almost two months, which gave me an even more comprehensive impression of the country and its people.